Inept UK management to blame for culture of poor customer service

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10% frontline workers identify that the relationship with their manager is as big a threat to job security as potential offshoring.

More than 3 in every 5 UK frontline workers (those employed predominantly in customer-facing sales and service roles) believe that failing line management is one of the major causes of the UK's culture of poor customer service and neglected sales opportunities. Moreover, 10% of the nine million frontline workers in the UK consider the relationship with their manager to be the biggest threat to their job security - a threat of equal importance to the possibility of jobs being outsourced.

These are the findings of research released today by performance improvement specialist Prosell. The research, conducted amongst over 570 frontline workers, found that the behaviour of UK line management has a direct impact on the quality of service respondents extend to customers. The majority (45%) went so far as to claim that the relationship with their manager 'always' impacted upon the customer experience they deliver.

A worrying 38% of UK managers who work alongside their teams communicate for just 30 minutes or less in an average day, with over half (55%) only conversing with their teams for an hour or less. It's little wonder then that 60% of respondents noted they are not praised each time they do something well and 10% are never praised by their manager at all, regardless of their achievements.

The research also found that 45% of line managers don't always try to understand the problems their frontline teams are confronted with in the workplace, whilst a disturbing 11% of managers never fulfil this vital role.

Unsurprisingly, less than 50% of respondents feel their manager is an inspiration. 22% of respondents claimed their managers were 'not very' or 'not at all' inspirational.

Simon Morden, Chairman at Prosell comments on the findings: "It's extremely disturbing that the relationship between manager and team in the UK is so wrought with inefficiency and ineptitude. Our research clearly demonstrates an unquestionable connection between this relationship of internal service and the delivery of external customer service. The incompetence of managers to interact and guide their teams in their day-to-day roles must be costing UK business millions - if not billions - of pounds in lost sales.

"The UK is certainly not renowned for leading-edge customer service. Rather than point the finger of blame squarely on those individuals responsible for directly delivering service, it seems businesses should review the role of the line manager in this equation."

For your free copy of the full Prosell REsearch Report - 'Is UK Sales/Service line management working?' - visit www.prosell.com

About Prosell

Prosell is a leading training and development company, which focuses on delivering measurable performance improvement for blue-chip organisations. Founded in 1985 and with offices in London and Sydney, Prosell works closely with customer-facing sales and service teams primarily within call centres, help-desks and retail outlets, helping them to achieve organisational brand, service and sales objectives.

Prosell uses a broad range of practices across a varied mix of projects within highly competitive market sectors. Each programme is always tailored to an organisation's objectives helping to facilitate employee attitudinal change, introduce fresh working practices and measurably improve bottom-line performance.

Prosell's client-base includes:- Dell, Post Office Ltd, Yell, EDS, Hackney Borough Council, Telewest, Servier, Npower, Hertz, Ford, WPP, mm02, McDonalds and Lafarge. www.prosell.com

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